What We're Reading: November 2019

The Celadon team shares their fall reading lists, including a Stephen King writing guide, a new novel by Nelson DeMille (and son), and a memoir of race and parenting.

By the Celadon Team

Jamie Raab
Publisher & President

The Deserter by Nelson DeMille and Alex DeMilleThe Deserter by Nelson and Alex DeMille

This is Nelson DeMille at his best. And it’s his first book written with his son Alex. The partnership clearly works. Set in the politically volatile world of Venezuela, the novel is suspenseful, tension-filled, often very funny and even reflective as it dramatizes some compelling moral and political questions. It also features a very appealing new duo, two CID agents with definite romantic chemistry.

I edited Nelson DeMille for years and am always still eager to follow his writing career. At his best, he combines suspense and humor better and more intelligently than anyone else.

Ryan Doherty
Executive Editor

On Writing by Stephen KingOn Writing by Stephen King

I recently finished Stephen King’s On Writing, which was a suggestion from our author Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient). I loved it — the first portion of the book gives you a mini memoir of King’s reading and writing life, with great stories and anecdotes on how he came to write and publish his first novel, Carrie. The book then dives into great writing advice. This should be required reading for all fiction writers.

deb-futter
Deb Futter
Co-publisher & Senior Vice President

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko OgawaThe Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

The Housekeeper and the Professor is a heartwarming story of math, baseball, what family really means, and the nature of memory. I heard about it the old-fashioned way: word of mouth! Fans of Eleanor Oliphant, A Beautiful Mind, and The Art of Fielding would love this book.

Randi Kramer
Editorial Assistant

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine CenterThings You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Sometimes you just need a little bit of book candy, and this is a fun speed read. I’ve been reading some dense non-fiction, and it felt like the right time for something I could tear through quickly!

Jaime Noven
Jaime Noven
Marketing Manager

Humanimal by Adam RutherfordHumanimal: How Homo sapiens Became Nature’s Most Paradoxical Creature—A New Evolutionary History by Adam Rutherford

This summer, I read Humanimal by Adam Rutherford. I loved his previous book, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, and I’ve been listening to his radio show Inside Science for years. I’d recommend both books to readers of Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens, as well as anyone who would be interested to know most humans have Neanderthal DNA in them; that we are not the only animal who farms, follows fashion trends, or sets fires; or that Neanderthals and Homo erectus were making art long before we were. In an age of genome sequencing and gene editing, I think it’s important for people to know what DNA does and doesn’t tell us about a person.

Jennifer Jackson
Jennifer Jackson
Senior Director, Consumer Marketing

Motherhood So WhiteMotherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin

I picked up this memoir because of author Nefertiti Austin’s journey of adoption through foster care. But what really drew me in was her eye-opening look at the racism that pervades the adoption system, as well as the narrative of motherhood in general. The topic is heavy, but Austin’s honesty and openness about her own personal story makes it a compelling read.

Rebecca Ritchey
Rebecca Ritchey
Social Media Manager

Last Exit to BrooklynLast Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.

I’m trying to make my way through David Bowie’s 100 favorite books, so I’m currently reading Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr. The story is told in vignettes set in a gritty, 1950s Brooklyn. The characters are cruel and violent and flawed and each page is like a punch to the face. Fans of Trainspotting or Chuck Palahniuk might enjoy this.

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